The war in Iraq has cost 72-year-old
Abid Hassan Hamoodi dearly. The large family he once proudly headed was
all but wiped out when aircraft from the US-led forces mistakenly bombed
his Basra home.
I lost 10 of my family. I
once lived in that house with six other relatives, now I am alone.
Just before the invasion started
much of my family came to stay in my home, it being made of reinforced
concrete and very strong.
There was my doctor son, my daughter - a microbiologist and her three
sons. My other daughter is a medical consultant and she came with
We all slept in a very safe
place at the back of the house, my bed was just a few metres away from
Several rockets had already
fallen on a club across the road from my home, five days before my
Two days before, the Mukhabarat,
the secret police building, was hit.
We escaped without injury,
though all our windows were destroyed.
On 5 April at 5.30 am, a plane
dropped a rocket on the main road. We all woke up.
Just five minutes after we
had returned to bed, the plane returned and dived very sharply, firing
its rockets. They fell just at the back of the house where we were.
The three walls of the room
fell on many of my family killing them instantly. I went to the room
and saw them all covered with the bricks and concrete that had fallen.
There were 13 in that room.
I somehow managed to save one of my daughters, together with her son
aged five and her six-month-old infant. Her third child was killed
sleeping beside his grandmother, my wife.
I have written to Tony Blair. Did the coalition come to Iraq to liberate
Iraqis or to kill innocent civilians? Despite my enormous efforts,
I was unable to remove the things piled up on their bodies. My daughter-in-law
went into the street shouting for help, but it was early and it was
We had to wait for the ambulances
to come to remove them, but they were all dead.
I gave the kiss of life to
three as they were removed, but I could not restore their lives. They
were under that heap for such a long while.
If they had been buried for
just a few minutes, they could have survived. But it was half an hour.
While I was busy removing
my family and in such great shock and sorrow, people looted my house.
They stole two cases, one
containing all our jewellery and $25,000, the other containing new
clothes I had just brought back from Manchester, where my two sons
live as British citizens.
The coalition has now created
an excuse that they were firing on a house adjacent to mine and that
Ali Hassan, known to many as Chemical Ali, was inside.
They attacked us just one
day before Basra fell. They could have caught this man, not tried to
kill him. Was it necessary to kill 20 people in our street for the
sake of one bastard?
We were hoping the coalition
would come to Iraq, but not to kill us. We are not the army, we don't
live in an army base. I have spent my life away from politics.
I have never interfered with
Saddam and he has left me alone to live with my family, bring up my
children and educate them.
Now the coalition has killed
a family of highly qualified people, irreplaceable people for Iraq.
The coalition has got what
it wanted, it has liberated the country. But as far as I am concerned,
my loss is too great to accept.